Preparing for oral surgery can cause lots of anxiety, even for adults who fully understand the procedure they’re having and why it’s needed. For young children, facing the prospect of dental surgery can be even scarier. At Oral Surgery Associates of Alaska, Drs. Holloway and Bergeron strive to help every patient feel as comfortable as possible by keeping them informed every step of the way. But, of course, that’s harder than it sounds when it comes to treating kids. Here, they share a few strategies for parents to help their young children cope with anxiety before a dental surgery.
Preparing Your Child For Dental Surgery
Schedule The Surgery In The Morning
For kids (and adults) with anxiety about dental surgery, Drs. Holloway and Bergeron recommend scheduling the procedure as early in the day as possible. This is helpful for several reasons. First, it will minimize the amount of time your child will have to spend worrying about it beforehand. Since your child will need to fast before surgery, scheduling it early in the morning means they’ll spend less time being hungry. You’ll also have more time to plan something enjoyable as a reward once the anesthesia wears off.
Stay Calm Yourself
The prospect of seeing your child go under anesthesia can also be frightening for parents. Your kid will pick up on that fear. As a parent, the more you can force yourself to stay calm and relaxed before your child’s dental surgery, the easier it will be for your child to stay calm too.
Play Dentist & Let Your Child Be In Control
For many kids, rehearsing the routine of the oral surgery appointment by “playing dentist” beforehand helps to make the real appointment feel less scary. The team at Oral Surgery Associates of Alaska recommends one additional take: after you’ve talked your kid through what will happen on the day of their dental surgery, reverse the roles of the game. Let them play the parent and talk you, the nervous child, through the routine. Have them play the doctor as you play the patient. This can help children feel more in control. Giving them the chance to say “Don’t worry. You’ll only feel a little pinch,” can really help that message sink in.
Oral Surgery Associates of Alaska provides a full range of dental, oral and maxillofacial surgeries to Anchorage residents of all ages. Both Dr. Bergeron and Dr. Holloway are hospital-trained and board-certified in oral surgery; the entire Oral Surgery Associates team strives to provide expert care while making the experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Visit their website to learn more about the services they offer, or call (907) 561-1430 to schedule a consultation or appointment.